Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Development plans Sidetracked?

For the last several days, both music fans and musicians have wandered Edmonton with long faces. Rumours about the sale of the landmark Sidetrack Café have long floated around the city, but a story in last week’s Edmonton Journal seemed to confirm it.
According to the article, land title documents show the valuable downtown land was sold in March to make way for condominiums.

The Journal quoted the owner, who asked that his name not be used, as saying the club will stay open until at least the end of the year.

Reading the story, I felt like it was the end of an era, another blow to Edmonton’s live music scene. The Sidetrack has long supported Edmonton acts and is known as one of Canada’s top entertainment live clubs.

Over its 20-some years, everyone from members of the Rolling Stones to Ike Turner played at the venue, not to mention Blue Rodeo, k.d. lang, Junkhouse, the Skydiggers and too many others to mention. The Sidetrack was also instrumental in launching the music careers of groups like The Painting Daisies and Wide Mouth Mason.

Now comes news the Journal story might be premature.

Sidetrack promoter Brent Oliver is vague on details, but insists the ‘track is staying put and will not be elbowed out by development.

So what’s the truth? We’ll have to wait to find out more, but at least there is some indication of hope for the much-beloved club.


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